Useful Bible Studies > Ecclesiastes Commentary > chapter 4

Work that never satisfies

Ecclesiastes 4:7-8

As the author of Ecclesiastes studied the world, he saw one particular man. This manís behaviour seemed truly extraordinary. But in fact, the man was just behaving as all people behave. From his actions, we can learn a useful lesson about our own human weakness.

The manís strange idea was that he could make himself content by his own effort. So, he worked continuously. His idea was strange because all that work had never made him content. His continuous efforts proved that he was not content.

Even the man himself knew that his work was without any proper purpose. He did not need the money. And he had no family who could benefit from his work. But still he worked. And he was unable to relax.

The manís problem was that his work, like all human effort, belonged to this world. And nothing in this world can satisfy us. The manís efforts were as weak as the man himself. A man must die and a manís efforts cannot really satisfy him. He may feel a temporary feeling of satisfaction with his work. But it will not last. Only God can satisfy us (John 7:37; Psalm 62:1-2). We can trust him completely and he will not disappoint us.

The man already knew that his efforts would never satisfy him. That fact was clear to him because of his wealth and his family circumstances. He realised that his actions were foolish. But most people never realise that fact. And they continue to do things that can never satisfy them. They still believe that, somehow, something in this world will give them real satisfaction. And because they believe that, they will not trust God.

Next part: Advantages of love and friendship (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)


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© 2019, Keith Simons.